The House Is Afire!!!

Donald Trump … he claims to have made only one mistake during his 29 months in office.  Can you guess what it is?

Helsinki?  Charlottesville?  Family separations?  Nope, nope, and nope.

Failure to ‘drain the swamp’?  Nope.

Pulling out of the Paris climate accord and rolling back many important environmental regulations?  No way.

Triggering the longest government shutdown in U.S. history in a futile attempt to get funding for a border wall – or subsequently declaring a national emergency to divert money from the military?  Not a chance.

His quest to expel transgender service members who are willing to die in combat, his mockery of the #MeToo movement or his demonization of African American athletes?  Nay, nay, nay.

Throwing paper towels at Puerto Ricans, and then trying to minimize how much federal funding these U.S. citizens get to rebuild their devastated island?  Hardly.

Firing James Comey as FBI director, or the other nine cases of obstruction of justice outlined in Bob Mueller’s report?  Wrong again.

Trump says his only mistake was … wait for it … hiring Jeff Sessions to serve as U.S. Attorney General, because he hired him fully believing that Sessions would protect him by putting an end to the Russian investigation led by Special Counsel Bob Mueller.  When Sessions recused himself and thus could not protect Trump, he became Trump’s only mistake, at least in Trump’s mind.

When concerns were raised about the high turnover in Trump’s administration, he responded …

“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be.”

sonny-perdue

Sonny Perdue

And it is in this context, the “my opinion is the only one that matters” monologue, that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under Trump appointee Sonny Perdue, has decided to bury the results of dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change.  WHY?  Because … climate change is damned inconvenient.  An example …

If a person is watching a really good television program (are there actually any “really good” ones these days?) and suddenly smells smoke, he has two choices:  go investigate, or ignore the odour.  If he ignores the odour, odds are that the house will be on fire before the next commercial break, but hey … don’t want to miss seeing the guy beat his wife, right?

The house is on fire, and our government, led by Bozo Trump, is in favour of ignoring it, for to acknowledge it means having to take action to try to put the fire out, and means missing out on the big love scene where thousands of people chant “lock her up” because they are so happy with Trump.

The studies that the USDA is refusing to make public, range from a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people world-wide whose diet consists mostly of rice — to a finding that climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle.  All have been peer-reviewed by scientists and cleared through the non-partisan Agricultural Research Service, one of the world’s leading sources of scientific information for farmers and consumers.

Researchers at the University of Washington had collaborated with scientists at USDA, as well as others in Japan, China and Australia, for more than two years to study how rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could affect rice — humanity’s most important crop. They found that it not only loses protein and minerals, but is also likely to lose key vitamins as plants adapt to a changing environment.

The study had undergone intensive review, addressing questions from academic peers and within USDA itself. But after having prepared an announcement of the findings, the department abruptly decided not to publicize the study and urged the University of Washington to hold back its own release on the findings, which two of their researchers had co-authored.

The person sitting in the burning house, watching television, is also admonishing the neighbors not to call the fire department and to simply pretend they don’t see or smell the smoke either!  Let the entire neighborhood burn down, but don’t arouse the man from his bloomin’ television show!

There is an election in less than 17 months that will, hopefully, remove not only Trump, but also most of his boot-lickers from office.  People need to be informed in order to make smart voting choices.  How can the public be well-informed if the government is withholding facts, simply because the facts don’t agree with what Trump wants???  I guess, if we are not to be told the facts, but rather only the falsehoods propagated by Trump & Co., then the best thing is to remember Trump’s own words …

“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be.”

Is that really the person you want at the helm of this ship? Think about it.

40 thoughts on “The House Is Afire!!!

  1. I really am starting to wonder where we are all headed? It’s as if all actions are leaning toward preservation of the rich and dam the rest of us.
    I read a recent report from e360 Yale Edu, about the destruction of forests along the Eastern Seaboard, and Southern States, for the biomass industry.

    I also read another report that this area is the 36th most Biodiverse region in the world.

    So I got to digging a little, especially as Drax power station in the UK (North Yorkshire), the biggest wood pellet user in the World, is involved. I concentrated on the state of Louisiana and found that there really are no protections for forests where DRAX Biomass have built a brand new pellet processing plant on the site of LaSalle Lumber Company LLC, a
    $115, 000,000 sawmill operation in the Central Louisiana community of Urania and dedicated in May by Gov. John Bel Edwards and leaders from Ruston-based Hunt Forest Products LLC and Tolko Industries Ltd. of Canada (partners in the operation). Further, Bel Edwards already dedicated $12,000,000 to building rail connections from the LaSalle operation to Baton Rouge, Alabama shipping port and has just promised a further $20,000,000 to improve the rail links for even faster delivery (without using road transportation) for wood pellets to be shipped to the port. Those rail lines will already support trains pulling 140 carriages of wood pellets.

    To cut a very long story short, full of government subsidies to landowners to grow pine and hardwood monocultures, forestry associations full of lawyers, hedge fund managers, and Timber and paper mill executives as board members,
    And backed by US government and a program called ‘Coalswitch,’ the Fossil fuel industry has very much got its fingers in this so called ‘sustainable’ business.

    Meanwhile, Drax Group, Plc in the UK (the CEO is the same man as for the US operations), has successfully secured UK government subsidy funding for Drax Biomass power.

    This whole thing smacks of greenwashing the destruction of US forests. I am so enraged that the US would sell out its prime virgin forests for monoculture timbers and that they further fool other countries into believing what they are doing as sustainable, as unconscionable to the nth degree. Two more wood pellet power stations are due to come on line in the UK in 2020. I am hoping that if I send what I have found, to a media expose program like BBC Panorama, or similar, they will find it damming enough to do a story on it. Certainly, the UK Government have not listened to our environmental watchdogs here in the UK.

    I think the natural world is being sold down the toilet, and there are billions of dollars to be made from it. To be sure, if I were an activist on the front line trying to expose Drax in public, I don’t think I would last long. They would slap a court injunction on me quicker than you can say, ‘get me my lawyer!’

    Liked by 2 people

    • Incidentally CEO of Drax is Will Gardner. Appointed in 2018, Mr Gardener (a Harvard University Graduate with a B A in Russian studies), has wandered through executive positions with the likes of JP Morgan, Hedge Fund Managers, Tech companies and so on. He is hardly the kind of man you would see as an operator of a sustainable power utility. I smell a lot of money, and yet, DRAX Plc in the UK are reporting losses on the stock market. Guess they’ll be asking for tax breaks from the UK Government as well as subsidies. This whole thing just smells very fishy… Speaking of which, Drax have just announced that they are going to make fish food for farmed Salmon from waste C02, hydrocarbons and sugars. Does that sound like a healthy diet to anyone? I am so glad that I am Vegan now.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tolko is one of two lumber companies in the gown I live in. Their beehive oven is a big polluter, but we are so far north no one cares what they do. They cut down a lot of our old growth forests. They are also one of our biggest employers. No one here is going to boycott or protest them.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Yes rg, I have read all about Tolko, their hostile take overs and dealings. There is nothing clean about what is going on.
          I honestly think that continuing to burn coal (but cleaning up and recapturing all the toxins and CO2 output, is a better idea than taking the trees. Coal is fossilised wood, it puts out twice the Kwh of power than biomass (which means that you need double the amount of trees (weight) for the same amount of electric power). There is no way that the trees can be replaced at the same rate as used. In my opinion, this is one of the worst activities on the planet. How it was ever seen as ‘green’ is just crazy. The fossil fuel industry are heavily involved and abetted by governments. Tolko actually uses some of the wood it takes to produce gas. How absurd is that. 😕

          Liked by 1 person

          • Just discovered that Tolko are building a wood pellet making factory in rg’s Town. Will be completed in 2020, to go along with the beehive ovens.
            America and Canada are selling their timber for jobs… But at such a cost… I think. 😔

            Liked by 1 person

          • I guess I am not up to date on how toxins and CO2 can be recaptured, but if you say they can be I am good with that. You are right that coal is not a “useful” item anymore, it just sits there while trees are working to keep the air clean, so there is that. But there still has to be a better way.
            What do they do with the recaptured gases? How do they dispose of them? Are they taking the carbon out and releasing the oxygen back into the atmosphere? Inquiring minds have to wonder about these things, once they learn of them. You inspired me to wonder, so thank you.

            Liked by 2 people

            • There were a lot of studies on Carbon and CO2 Capture both from coal and biomass. Unfortunately, it is cheaper to do it with Biomass. The expense with coal was considered to be unviable (though it could be done).
              I am afraid that biomass is already mainstream (as are biofuels). We are now going to burn our living fuels instead of our long dead ones.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Money is still more important than life. This is why we need a different form of government. But I am singing The Impossible Dream, at this time. Neither fuel should be being used. Science should be looking elsewhere…

                Liked by 2 people

                • Indeed it should. We cannot return to the old timber empires. The human population is just too great for it to be sustainable. We need revolutionary thinking to come up with completely new ideas. Pity we can’t find something that will power electrical generation with CO2 and methane, the only feedstock, extracted directly from carbon sinks like the Ocean, the air, and the permafrost. At least until we can rethink how to generate power and make products in the future. 😊

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I’m sure that science already has figured that out, but the big corporstions own that research, and refuse to share it.
                    30 years ago or so a teenage girl in Winnipeg happened on a cure for the common cold in a science project. It made a big splash in Winnipeg newspapers at the time. Big business swooped down, paid the girl an undisclosed amount for the formula, and threatened to sue the girl for all of it and more if she ever disclosed it to anyone. No one has heard of it since. Can you imagine a world with no colds? It makes one wonder what else they have bought and smothered. THIS IS NOT AN URBAN LEGEND. THIS IS REALITY. Capitalism cares only about money, not about the people who have to pay for it.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • That is really disturbing. I wish I had an answer, but I don’t have a clue how to fight the massive corporate monster. They just hush everybody up with lawsuits or threats to personal safety. You can be poor, imprisoned or dead. This is how the corporate world works, and Governments are not far behind. Pretty soon, we won’t even be able to talk about this on line. Censorship is coming… Politicians here in the UK are already talking about having the police here monitor all social media.

                      Liked by 1 person

    • You would have made a fine investigative reporter, Colette! Yes, we are all being sold downriver, and what those who are doing the selling (and raking in the cash) don’t realize is that they will fare no better than the rest of us at the end of the day. Thanks for the info … I shall take a look at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not saying Democrats are the panacea, but believing they can turn this around is not rocket science. Debates – Wednesday and Thursday nights. Tune in, get informed and vote. trump is playing to an audience of one comprised of himself and American stupidity. We must let the rest of the world know that we have not been smoking whacky weed since November, 2016 (although we certainly have wanted to)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Given his escalating madness, I wonder if we can afford to keep him around until January 2021? But to your point, you are absolutely right … there is no single democratic candidate who will be a panacea … each will have some good and some not-so-good points, but even the very worst of them will be a thousand times more competent and … sane … than Trump! Heck, my cat is more competent than Trump!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Jill. About the only hope I can see for the information to get out is for the others involved in the studies to leak them. For people or places that get their funding from the government that might be a big problem. So maybe other governments can put the information out? Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, he has accountability to no one; not even a greater sense of self. Paraphrasing and modifying Harry Truman, “the buck stops over there.”

    It is a low bar to expect your president to tell the truth more than he does not. It is a low bar for a president to treat people (allies, legislators, public servants, media) with a modicum of decency. Yet, he consistently trips over these low bars. As you have done, we could point out numerous policy mistakes, but his degradation of the office he holds goes well beyond policy mistakes.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Come on, Jill. Don’t you know our generation respe ts making money no matter how you do it! As kids, the more we could panhandle in a day, the richer we were. Donnie Boy is just panhandling in different circles these days. We were satisfied with 5 bucks. We could buy 3 squares a day. A few good days in a row and we could buy a nickel bag of weed. Now the government sells itbythe gram. And we couldn’t have afforded it that way back then. Trump, he can still buy it by the ounce if he wants. Probably does, considering those puffy cheeks and his love of Mickey Dee’s.
    And if he is still doing LSD, imagine jow pretty those flames will look as he burns down the White House.
    I think I been listening to too much Fever Tree…

    Liked by 4 people

      • From Houston. Their only hit was San Francisco Girls in 1968, but they have some wonderful tracks on their FEVER TREE album. Probably a bit too psychedelic for you, but it has a classical flavour to it. Kind of like Vanilla Fudge.
        If you wish to listen, do not play the live version. Their equipment was substandard atp best. The pink-coloured video is the best, but it is x-rated for YouTube. The album cut is very good.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Fever Tree was huge in certain circles, but the majority never heard of them. They weren’t underground, like the Fugs and the Mothers of Invention, but they might as well have been.
            Is there even an underground today? I know Indies are on the sidelines, but still accessible. But that’s not underground.
            When FM first started it was not a popular media form. Stations played whole albums at a time, of music that was “different” from the norm. Then, at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, they would play the records about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, the real raw stuff. The record stores of the time would only order those albums in special order, at least in Canada, and sell them in brown paper bags, like booze used to be sold. Ooh, I forgot all about those days. Great memories…

            Liked by 1 person

            • I do believe you and I traveled in different musical circles back in the day! You’re right … Fever Tree is not quite my cup of tea, and I’ve never even heard of the Fugs or Mothers of Invention! Sounds like you have some cool memories from way back when, though. I had to laugh about the albums being sold in brown paper bags like booze!

              Like

              • They had dirty words or themes in them, so the covers could not be visible to the general public while transporting it home. I’m not kidding. Winnipeg wssn’t exactly bible-belt, but darn was a swear word back then. I cannot imagine what those people would say about today…

                Liked by 1 person

                • Heh heh … I remember getting my mouth washed out with dish soap for saying “damn” when I was about 4 or 5. Times have changed … well, for some of us anyway. I still have friends who blush if you say ‘shit’.

                  Like

                  • Most older people I know, male and female, swear like troopers. Speaking of troopers, I imagine the border patrol would be continually getting their mouths washed out with soap around the children in their “care,” that’s why there is no soap.

                    Liked by 1 person

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